Skip to comments.Stalin and his lover aged 13
Posted on 05/12/2007 4:38:33 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Told for the first time, the astonishing story of the brutal dictator's affair with an under-age schoolgirl...and how he made her pregnant.
The story was too shocking to believe. But now that Stalin was dead, his successor Nikita Khrushchev decided he had to investigate the astonishing rumour about the monster's sexual depravity.
It was claimed that when he was in his 30s and before he became leader, Stalin had raped or seduced, even fathered a child with, a girl who was just 13 years old - and had been indicted for the under-age seduction by the police.
The tale had long been dismissed as just another piece of Western anti-Stalin propaganda.
It had first surfaced soon after he took over from Lenin as Soviet dictator in 1924, appearing in the "scurrilous" tabloids and emigre journals in the West that were banned in the newly-formed Soviet Union.
Of course, during his reign of terror the rumour had all but disappeared - no one dared breathe a critical word about the tyrant in those years.
But on his death in 1953 it had resurfaced. And now Khrushchev, having heard the story of the under-age girl, had commissioned his KGB boss General Ivan Serov to investigate in great secrecy.
As Stalin's biographer, I had heard the story but it seemed so outrageous as to be incredible: like most historians, I simply believed that it was mere propaganda.
It did not sound like the Stalin we knew: he was married twice but usually he was portrayed, somewhat like Hitler, as a freakish inhuman monster, so unnaturally obsessed with power that he was uninterested in sex.
Yet more than 80 years on from when the rumours first appeared, I found myself examining a most extraordinary document among Stalin's papers in the so-called Presidential archives in Moscow, while researching for my new book on the young Stalin.
Marked top secret and signed by the KGB boss Serov, it was addressed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the Politburo.
It was dated 1956 - three years after Stalin's death - and spelt out the results of General Serov's investigation.
Serov reported back to Khrushchev that, amazingly, the entire story of Stalin's affair with a 13-year-old was true. Khrushchev showed it to the Politburo (including Stalin's long-serving henchman Molotov), who all signed it and then filed it in the deepest recesses of the archives where it has remained until now.
I was also able to find in the archives the memoirs of the girl herself, who was called Lidia. She wrote them during Stalin's reign, which is why they make no mention of any sex or the children she had by Stalin - that would have been suicidal.
Using all these and other archive documents, I constructed an astonishing picture of an unknown Stalin - one that painted him as a promiscuous and faithless serial seducer and libertine.
The picture was confirmed by the reminiscences of villagers who lived in the isolated hamlet that was the 13-year-old girl's home in Siberia.
This, then, is the true story of the under-age affair - the most shocking of many conducted during Stalin's mysterious life in the run-up to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
In March 1914 Josef Stalin - a Georgian cobbler's son known to friends as Soso and comrades as Koba - was sentenced for his revolutionary activities by the Tsar to exile close to the Arctic Circle in a tiny hamlet named Kureika.
The place was a freezing hellhole, an isolated twilight world cut off from humanity in winter by the daylong darkness.
In Kureika, only the reindeer, snowfoxes and Tungus indigenous tribesmen could really function in deep midwinter. Everyone wore reindeer fur.
The hamlet contained 67 villagers - 38 men and 29 women - all packed into just eight ramshackle izbas or wooden peasant shacks.
Among them were seven orphans from the same family - the Pereprygins - of whom the youngest was 13-year-old Lidia.
She immediately noticed Stalin, not just because of his good looks but also because he was hopelessly underdressed with only a light coat.
Before long, he was sporting the full local outfit - from boots to hat - of reindeer fur, all of it provided by Lidia Pereprygina.
Stalin in those days was slim, attractive, charming, an accomplished poet and educated in the priesthood, but also a pitiless Marxist terrorist and brutal gangster boss - a Red Godfather who had funded Lenin's Bolsheviks with a series of audaciously bloody acts of bank robbery, piracy and racketeering.
Lidia was a schoolgirl orphan living on the remote frontier where girls matured early.
Some time in the early summer of 1914, the 35-year-old Stalin embarked on an affair with Lidia.
While not admitting to anything explicit in her memoirs, we catch a glimpse in them of Stalin and Lidia together staggering from drinking bout to drinking bout, because she writes of their drunken dancing and singsongs: "In his spare time, Stalin like to go to evening dances - he could be very jolly too. He loved to sing and dance."
These memoirs of Stalin's 13-year-old mistress - recorded 20 years later at the height of his dictatorship, while she remained a Siberian housewife - were clearly constrained.
But they contain unmistakable innuendos: "He often liked to drop in on certain people," says Lidia - by which she meant herself.
"And he also drank."
Was this how he seduced her?
Stalin was guarded during his exile by a red-bearded, red-tempered policeman named Ivan Laletin.
Stalin had already escaped many times from previous exiles. Laletin soon became his enemy.
By summer, almost everyone must have known about the sexual affair between Lidia and Stalin - she started to slip more and more regularly into his lodgings.
The policeman probably saw his chance to nail the insolent Georgian and watched Stalin carefully, determined to catch him in bed with the 13-year-old.
"One day," recalled Feodor Taraseev, the only villager who dared record the story, "Stalin was at home, working and not leaving the house.
"The policeman decided to check up on him. Without knocking on the door, he burst into the room."
Stalin was "furious to be interrupted," said Taraseev.
Almost certainly the policeman caught Stalin and Lidia in flagrante delicto.
Stalin's immediate response was to attack the policeman, who drew his sabre. Stalin was wounded in the neck, which so inflamed him that reportedly "he kicked out the rogue!"
"We witnessed this scene," says Taraseev.
"The policeman was running away towards the Yenisei River, cravenly waving his sabre in front of him while Comrade Stalin was pursuing him in a state of high excitement and fury, with his fists clenched."
At the very time that Stalin was seducing Lidia, "the lights were going out all over Europe" as Britain and the Great Powers, including Russia, careered into World War I.
His future partners in the 'Big Three' of WWII were already established and distinguished: Franklin D. Roosevelt was on his way to becoming U.S. Secretary of the Navy while Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty.
Back in Siberia, the affair was no longer a secret. The statutory age of consent was 14, but it is clear from the KGB report that the sex between Stalin and Lidia was consensual.
The KGB chairman Ivan Serov explained: "J.V. Stalin started living together with her" - and this, he implied, was almost as shocking as the seduction.
Soon the news became even more jaw-dropping: Lidia was pregnant.
Stalin moved into the pitiful Pereprygin two-room shack. The lavatory was an outhouse where he used to take a rifle to scare the circling wolves.
At night, Lidia would creep into his room, recounts Stalin's first biographer Essad Bey, who must have talked to fellow exiles.
Certainly she was not shy about recalling that "he wore white underwear and a sailorstriped vest," as she confided to her interviewer in 1952, when Stalin was almost worshipped as a demi-god.
Lidia's brothers were so furious about the pregnancy that they refused to eat with Stalin. Lidia had to cook for him on his own.
According to KGB boss Serov, policeman Laletin threatened "to instigate criminal proceedings for living together with an under-age girl. J.V. Stalin promised the policeman to marry Pereprygina when she came of age".
So Stalin became engaged and the family, whether gratefully or begrudgingly, accepted the relationship.
In return, Stalin "shared his fish with them" as one of the family.
Indeed he treated Lidia almost as his young wife, entertaining at home and asking her to cook for his guests.
Stalin enjoyed the company of the shamanistic Tunguses and Ostiak tribesmen and learned to hunt and fish just like them. He still enjoyed partying, too.
"At the Taraseevs' place, the young gathered in a circle for a party - Stalin danced in the middle beating time, then he started singing," recalled a visitor to Kureika, Daria Ponamareva.
He also studied his Marxism, eagerly awaiting letters from Lenin.
Kureika, with its solitary hunting, its time to read and its young mistress, came to suit Stalin.
But all the time he knew his teenage fiancee was a transitory amusement to be abandoned by the wayside of his revolutionary mission.
The pregnancy was presumably an irritant, although locals recall Lidia was in love with Stalin.
Somewhere around December 1914, Lidia gave birth to a baby who died soon afterwards: Stalin made no comment but was definitely in Kureika at the time.
He survived the winter of 1915/16 there, too, living in a sooty, fuggy room in the Pereprygin house, and continuing the relationship.
In 1916, the Georgian lodger impregnated Lidia for the second time, and then typically made himself scarce. He escaped for the whole summer of 1916: where had he gone?
Most likely, his disappearance was connected with the pregnancy: locals claim he was devising a way to avoid marrying his pregnant mistress.
During my research, I discovered Stalin already had form as a prolific lover and that he had often promised marriage, only to renege at the last minute.
Even in these years of penniless obscurity, he was never without at least one girlfriend - and often more.
Indeed in exile, he became astonishingly promiscuous: in Vologda, in an earlier exile, he had met a saucy runaway schoolgirl of 16 named Polia who was living with a revolutionary comrade.
Stalin and she began an affair: watching secret police codenamed her Glamourpuss.
Polia was one of the few people who understood how strange Stalin was and could tease him about it: she always called him Oddball Osip - Osip being a diminutive of Josef.
When they parted, he sent her a postcard of a couple passionately embracing and wrote: "I owe you a kiss for your kiss passed onto me. Let me kiss you now! I'm not simply sending you a kiss but am kissssssssing you passionately (it's not worth kissing any other way! - Josef."
There was not much else to do in exile except drink, feud and fornicate, but Stalin had perfected all three pursuits.
He became engaged to at least three women, all of whom he abandoned. This shameless, caddish rogue seduced several landladies and usually their maids too, as well as a series of noblewomen and liberated revolutionary girls.
When he parted from one mistress, he managed to move in with another the next day, suggesting he was carrying on with several simultaneously.
His henchman Molotov recalled that, despite his pockmarks and freckles: "Women must have been enamoured by him because he was successful with them. He had honeycoloured eyes. They were beautiful."
Indeed, he later stole one of Molotov's girlfriends.
He was "attractive", Zhenya Alliluyeva, his future sister-in-law and probable mistress, recalled.
"He was a thin man, strong and energetic (with) an incredible shock of hair and shining eyes."
Everyone always mentions that he was that "man with the burning eyes".
He was mysterious, haughty, cold, watchful and foxily cunning as well as being eccentric and surprisingly intellectual. And then there was his nationality: the Georgians were the Italians of the Russian Empire, regarded as passionate and romantic.
But if the ladies expected a traditional Georgian Casanova, they must have been bitterly disappointed when they grew to know him better.
He seethed with complexes, and was shy about a stiff arm he had suffered since birth, along with his webbed toes and pockmarks.
The tender moments could not compensate for the glacial detachment and morose over-sensitivity.
Young Stalin seduced many women, but the Revolution always came first. The self-obsessed Marxist knight felt he could ride into the sunset, breaking engagements and abandoning children, whenever the Revolution called.
This is what happened to Lidia.
In October 1916, Stalin was conscripted into the Tsarist army but both he and officials must have known that his stiff arm would not pass medical examination.
Locals claim Stalin put his name on the conscription list with "a false certificate", to escape his marital obligations.
Stalin did not hang around in Kureika. He quickly said goodbye, giving one lady who had looked after him "a signed photograph and two overcoats".
Then, "seen off like a real hero", he set off. It is not known whether he said goodbye to Lidia.
After he was gone, in roughly April 1917, Lidia gave birth to a son, Alexander.
She did not tell Stalin, who never contacted her, but somehow he heard: he later told his sister-in-law Anna Alliluyeva of his Siberian son.
He was utterly unfettered by paternal feelings or even sentimental curiosity.
In February 1917, the Russian Revolution started in faraway St Petersburg. The Tsar abdicated and on March 12, Stalin arrived in the city.
In the summer of that year, he started his affair with another 16-year-old schoolgirl, Nadya Alliluyeva, who became his second wife.
When the Bolsheviks came to power in October 1917, Stalin became one of Lenin's top henchmen. Henceforth, his wild affairs in exile - especially his seduction and impregnation of a 13-year-old, his engagement to her and then abandonment - became secret.
Lidia later married a peasant fisherman, Yakov Davydov, who adopted Alexander as his own. She became a hairdresser and had eight more children.
"Stalin never helped her," reported KGB chief Serov.
Alexander was told he was Stalin's son by his mother Lidia years after her affair with Stalin, says his son, Yury.
They "kept quiet about it and only the few locals in Kureika knew whose son he really was".
Stalin's forgotten and illicit family still live in Siberia.
YOUNG STALIN by Simon Sebag Montefiore is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Big shock, not. The piece of garbage was garbage early on like all communist.
That'll just double his popularity at DU and among the left in general, who have always adored oppressive dictators - the more oppressive and depraved the better.
Stalin was communism personified.
Well we have the Kennedy’s and of course Clinton.
After killing 20,000,000 people having an affair with a 13 year old is child’s play.
And this was before photo-shop era...
I hear that Stalin last son died couple years ago one of his bastard offspring one of them
Makes you wonder whatever happened to ‘Alexander Stalin’.
What a horrible legacy to claim an inhuman monster as one’s father.
Georgians were the Italians of the Russian Empire, regarded as passionate and romantic.
Well how about that.
bump for later reading on the depths of depravity of Joseph Stalin
Man...ain't this the truth.
In Cambridge,Madison and Berkeley perhaps.
Stalin’s pal Beria had the most vile history of attacking woman randomly. The monsters worked together until they satisfied their thirst for depravity.
A thirteen year old girl is not a “lover”, she’s a mattress cover.
The tale had long been dismissed as just another piece of Western anti-Stalin propaganda.As if any anti-Stalin stories are needed after the examination of the reality. The author of the piece is obviously a dolt for that phrase.
...the commissar vanishes...